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From A to Z: Exploring Flooring Options for Every Corner of Your Home


Looking for the perfect flooring solutions to enhance your living space in 2024? Look no further! The COR team has compiled a comprehensive guide to flooring types and their ideal applications throughout your home. We will explore the unique characteristics of each option, including hardwood's enduring sophistication, tile's resilient versatility, and carpet's plush comfort. Whether you want to elevate your home's aesthetics, prioritize durability, or strike the perfect balance between the two, COR has got you covered. Our team has prepared a flooring guideline to help you make informed decisions and find tailored solutions that meet your needs.


Source: COR London


Selecting the right flooring for your home can be a daunting task, especially when you consider the variety of materials available. Each type of flooring has unique advantages and drawbacks, and it's essential to consider the specific requirements of each area before making a decision. By considering your flooring budget and personal preferences, you can choose from various flooring options that suit your needs. In this article, we'll delve into different types of flooring, exploring their benefits and durabilityhow to choose the right flooring product, how to install and maintain it, and other crucial information to help you make an informed decision. COR team aim to provide you with a clear understanding of each flooring type so you can confidently choose the best option for each room in your home.




Engineered Wood Flooring


Engineered hardwood is a type of flooring composed of layers of 100% natural wood on top and bottom, with a highly stable core in the middle. The core comprises 5 to 7 layers of plywood pressed together in a crisscross pattern.


This construction method gives the engineered hardwood its strength and durability, making it a popular choice for homeowners looking for a long-lasting flooring option.


Pros:      

Cons:

+Long-lasting 

-Can fade in the sun

+Eco-friendly  

-Sensitive for water spills

+Adds value to property  

-Noisy


How to Choose:

Engineered hardwood floors are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability and stability. The multiple layers used provide added support and prevent the flooring from sagging over time.

However, some engineered floors come with a very thin top layer, which can make sanding and refinishing difficult in the future. These floors can only be refinished once or twice.

Therefore, if you plan to refinish your engineered wood floors, it is recommended to choose a thicker veneer layer of at least 3mm. This thickness allows for multiple sanding and refinishing sessions. Veneer layers less than 1mm cannot be sanded or refinished.

 

Installation:

If you're looking to upgrade your flooring, you may be wondering whether to hire a professional or install factory-finished hardwood floors yourself. The good news is that self-installation is now a viable option, thanks to modern products that have simplified the process.

Opting for self-installation requires some time, effort, and a bit of know-how. However, with the right tools and a clear understanding of the installation process, anyone can tackle the job.

On the other hand, hiring a professional to install your flooring can also be a good investment, especially if you have limited time or experience with DIY projects. Professional installers have the expertise to ensure that your flooring is installed correctly, ensuring it lasts for years to come. Additionally, they can help you choose the best flooring options for your specific needs, based on factors such as the size of the space, the type of subfloor, and your budget.

 

Durability:

Both engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring have a long lifespan, ranging from 30 to 100 years. While they may be susceptible to scratches and dents due to their solid wood top layer, this is a minor issue if you don't mind occasional wear and tear. Plus, regular use is completely normal and expected over time. You can feel confident in choosing these types of flooring for your home.

 

Maintenance:

Hardwood flooring maintenance is a relatively easy task as it doesn't require any special treatments. You can simply sweep the floor regularly or use a lightweight vacuum. However, avoiding using a vacuum with a rotating bristle bar is recommended, as it can potentially cause damage to your hardwood floors. If your vacuum has a beater bar, make sure to set it to a bare floor setting or use a floor brush attachment instead.

 

Health and Safety:

It is important to note that low-quality engineered wood is commonly manufactured with glue containing formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound (VOC) that undergoes an off-gassing process after home installation. Therefore, to minimise the risk of harmful VOC emissions, it is strongly advised to purchase engineered wood from a reputable supplier instead of a big box store.



Source: COR London




Laminate Flooring


Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring that is constructed by fusing multiple layers of materials together. The base layer is typically made of high-density fibreboard or particleboard. The next layer is an image layer that simulates the look of real wood, tile, or stone.

Finally, a clear protective wear layer is applied to the top to provide durability and resistance to scratches, stains, and fading. This type of flooring is popular due to its affordability, ease of installation, and low maintenance requirements.


Pros:

Cons:

+Durable 

-Cannot be refinished   

+Easy installation

-Sensitive for moist and water

+Wide variety of styles

-Warping can occur


How to Choose:

Many people tend to overlook a crucial issue despite its significance. For better durability and resistance to wear and tear, it is advisable to choose a thicker laminate. It can also reduce noise and prevent bending. To determine which type of laminate flooring suits your needs, you should consider its AC rating. For low-foot traffic areas like bedrooms, AC1 is a good option. However, for areas with moderate foot activity, AC2 is more suitable. AC3 is recommended for high foot traffic areas such as the kitchen.

 

Installation:

Installing laminate flooring is a relatively easy process, but some preparations need to be done before laying the planks. It is essential to use foam underlayment before installing any laminate flooring. This underlayment serves several purposes, such as giving the floor a softer feel and reducing the clicking sound when you walk across it. The underlayment also helps to even out any minor irregularities in the subfloor, making it easier to install the planks.

 

Durability:

The lifespan of laminate flooring can vary depending on product quality, maintenance, and usage, with a potential lifespan of up to 25 years.

 

Maintenance:

Since laminate flooring is very sensitive to water and moisture, avoiding soaking your laminate floors is recommended. Instead, a broom with a broad microfibre head will capture regular dirt that is tracked across your floor. Avoid scrubbing, using strong chemicals and wood cleaners.

 

Health and Safety:

Laminate flooring is safe and goes through rigorous testing before making it available for purchase. Despite recent negative headlines, most laminate flooring on the market is safe to use. The testing procedures are designed to ensure that the product meets safety standards, including checks for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde emissions. This testing process ensures that consumers can have confidence in the safety of laminate flooring and its compliance with health regulations.




Source: COR London




Vinyl Flooring


Vinyl floor coverings comprise multiple constituent elements, each serving a specific purpose. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins provide the underlying structure and robustness of the material, while high molecular-weight solvents or plasticisers are added to enhance its flexibility and resilience. Pigments are incorporated into the mixture to impart colour and visual appeal, while trace stabilisers are included to protect against the adverse effects of degradation and UV damage.

Finally, the flooring is typically backed with a carrier sheet to provide additional support and durability.



Pros:

Cons:

+Resilient 

-Cannot be refinished 

+Easy installation

-Stains and yellows easily

+Affordable

-Not environmentally friendly


How to Choose:

If the wear layer is thicker, the flooring will last longer and have a higher overall quality. Pay attention to the wear layer guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Generally, 8 mm is suitable for a room with modest traffic.

 

Installation:

Vinyl plank flooring comes in various types, some vinyl flooring have a floating feature that keeps them in place using just their own weight. These types typically do not require glue or nails installed onto the subfloor. However, it is worth noting that certain brands may require professional installation in order to keep the warranty valid.

 

Durability:

Vinyl flooring is generally durable but can be difficult to repair if damaged. It cannot be refinished and needs to be replaced. If you're considering using vinyl flooring in a space that receives a lot of sunlight, be aware that continuous exposure to intense sunlight can cause the colour of the vinyl to fade over time. In such cases, you may want to consider installing new window coverings to help shield your vinyl floors from harmful UV rays.

 

Maintenance:

Vinyl flooring is known for its resilience. This indicates that most of the vinyl flooring is long-lasting, water-resistant, and requires very little care. If it includes a wear layer, Vinyl flooring often won't stain and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making it a fantastic alternative for any high-traffic areas.

 

Health and Safety:

Vinyl flooring can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) after installation. These harmful chemicals can negatively impact health and are present at higher concentrations in enclosed spaces, especially those without windows or ventilation. It's important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with vinyl flooring and take necessary precautions to reduce exposure to VOCs.



Source: Stock



Honed Limestone Tile Flooring


Did you know that limestone, a sedimentary rock, is formed from the combination of calcite and aragonite, which contain calcium carbonate? When limestone is honed, it undergoes a process that results in a smooth, matt or satin finish.


Limestone flooring is a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability, low maintenance, and classic look that never goes out of style.


So if you're looking for a flooring option that's both beautiful and practical, honed limestone might be just what you need!


Pros:

Cons:

+Classy appearance   

-Must be sealed

+Hypoallergenic

-Porous stone

+Durable

-Requires professional installation


How to Choose:

When it comes to indoor spaces, honed limestone is a great choice as it adds the perfect touch to a contemporary look while being beautifully simple. Choosing a darker shade of limestone flooring for high-traffic areas is recommended. Whiter limestones are less durable than darker ones. The durability of limestone depends on its hardness. The harder the limestone, the more durable it will be.

 

Installation:

Limestone tiles can be cut with special tools such as a wet saw, hand grinder, diamond, or masonry blade. Due to the heavy nature of limestone and the need for precision during installation, it is recommended to use the services of professionals when installing flooring made of this material.

 

Durability:

Many people love limestone flooring for its soft and gentle feel. While it is true that it can be vulnerable to chips and cracks, it is important to remember that limestone is a very sturdy and durable material. In fact, it requires a significant amount of force to chip or shatter it. With that in mind, it's easy to see that by simply being mindful of what you place on it, like avoiding dropping hard objects, you can ensure that your limestone flooring stays looking great for years to come.

 

Maintenance:

Maintaining limestone tiles' longevity and visual appeal requires regular cleaning and upkeep. It is recommended to use a neutral, mild detergent or a PH-neutral cleanser specifically formulated for natural stones. It is important to avoid using abrasive cleansers, powders, steel wool, scouring pads, or sandpaper, as these can damage the surface of the tiles. Additionally, it is vital to prevent soap, bleach, and other cleaning agents from adhering to the surface.

Like other natural materials, sealing the limestone floor after installation is essential, and the process should be repeated every 3 to 5 years. Failure to do so can lead to a relatively quick change in colour and loss of the overall beauty of the tiles.

 

Health and Safety:

Limestone is a healthy material for your home. It is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and resists dust mites' growth.





Source: COR London




Carpet Flooring


Nowadays over 90% of carpets are made from synthetic fibres, primarily nylon, polypropylene, or polyester. These materials offer numerous benefits, including durability, stain resistance, easy cleaning, and affordability.


Although natural fibres such as wool are still used, they are generally more expensive due to limited availability and higher production costs.

Choosing synthetic and natural fibres depends on the consumer's preference and budget.



Pros:

Cons:

+Soft for the foot 

-Shows wear and tear

+Affordable 

Not suitable for people with asthma and allergy

+Versatile  

Needs to be replaced frequently   


How to Choose:

When choosing the right carpet for a particular space, it's essential to consider some important factors. Firstly, consider the area where the carpet will be used. Knowing the area where the carpet will be installed is crucial in selecting the appropriate carpet that is both durable and of excellent quality. Also, consider the brand. It's recommended that you choose a reputable supplier for quality assurance, especially for high-traffic areas. Secondly, the weight. According to experts, most carpet weights fall between 40oz and 70oz. A higher carpet weight indicates greater durability, making it perfect for high-traffic areas. Lastly, the carpet density. The density of a carpet refers to how closely the fibres are packed together. The elegance of the carpet pile increases with weight and density. Typically, stairs and lounge carpets have a weight of around 50oz, while carpets weighing between 60 to 70oz are considered more luxurious. To determine the density of your carpet, multiply its face weight by 36 and then divide that number by the pile height. This will give you the density of your carpet in ounces.

By considering these factors, you can select the perfect carpet that will meet your requirements and last for years to come.

 

Installation:

If you're planning to carpet your floor yourself, be aware that it can be challenging, especially if the area you want to cover is large or irregular. This DIY project can also be time-consuming and requires precise measurements and proper installation of the carpet underlay. We suggest getting help from a professional who can ensure a long-lasting fit of the carpet.

 

Durability:

Wool and nylon fibres are one of the most durable materials for carpets. The type of fibre employed determines the carpet's basic function and look. Usually, on the specification sheet on the carpet's back, there is a list of the fibre composition.

 

Maintenance:

Carpets can accumulate a lot of dirt, which can be a double-edged sword. While it's good that the carpet traps the dirt, it can also lead to serious health issues, especially for people with asthma and allergies. To prevent this, it's important to vacuum your carpets at least once a week and give them a yearly professional deep cleaning. This will ensure that your carpets remain clean and healthy for you and your family.

 

Health and Safety:

There are ongoing discussions about the release of toxins from carpets. Older carpets can contain harmful substances like endocrine disruptors, phthalates, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), contributing to various health issues. Carpets tend to collect contaminants and allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, particle pollution, pesticides, dirt, and dust. Particles that sink into carpets can become coated with toxic gases in the air, making them even more hazardous to health.


Source: COR London



As we conclude our comprehensive flooring guide, the COR team hopes that our insights have given you the knowledge to make informed decisions for your upcoming renovation projects. As you venture forth into the realm of home improvement, remember that the right flooring sets the stage for a truly transformative experience. If you still feel unsure of what flooring best suits your space, contact the COR team, and we will be more than happy to assist you with any questions and further help with your project. 

 

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